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basic frolla dough for Italian stuffed pastries

A crumbly variant to our basic sucrèe dough, ideal for italian pastries, such as jam crostatas, pasticciotti, buccelatti, gobeletti etc.!

ingredients for about 500 g of dough (total cost about 5 € for the whole preparation with organic ingredients)
  • 250 g pastry flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 75 g superfine sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon (or other citrus fruit)
  • 1 egg
  • 15 ml milk
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 1g baking ammonia
  • 2 g salt

This dough is a variant to our “basic sweet short crust (sucrèe) dough for tarts and biscuits”. It is less buttery and to make it soft and pliable a little milk is added. In some cases, a 20 or 30% of the pastry flour is substituted by semolina flour. We do this, mostly when the filling contains a high percentage of liquids, as the semolina absorbs them.

Baking powder is also used, as well as a little ammonia, which helps improve the performance of the dough during cooking and guarantees a better consistency and a more appealing appearance to the desserts. In fact, ammonia gives to the pastries a compactness, but at the same time a crumbly and light consistency. Ammonia also acts as a conservative prolonging the lifetime of the products and helping improve their texture day by day. Don’t worry about its characteristic smell. It vanishes when the pastries cool. If you don’ t want to use ammonia, though, raise the baking powder to 6 g, instead of 4.

The ingredients are also worked in a different way and order, compared to our basic sweet short crust for tarts. Here, we mix the flour with the butter lightly softened and in dice, creating a mass of crumbly powder. This way the butter will protect the gluten molecules of the flour, inhibiting them from drawing the humidity of the dough and, thus, from making the dough too elastic and deprived of its characteristic friability.

So when I am making Italian style stuffed pastries, such as pasticciotti, buccelatti, gobeletti, jam crostatas etc., I prefer using this dough.

To prepare it, we sieve the flour in the bowl and we add the butter, already softened and cut into small dice along with the lemon zest. We work the flour and butter, just until a resembling small bread crumbs mixture is obtained. We add the sugar and we continue mixing to fully incorporate. We also add the egg, salt, ammonia and baking powder and we continue mixing, until all ingredients are well blended. Finally, we pour in the milk in a steady stream and we continue mixing, until the dough comes together.

I use the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for convenience, but you can perfectly make the dough by hand, mixing the ingredients in the same order. To incorporate the butter in the flour, you just need to rub the two ingredients between your palms, until bread-like crumbles form.

We transfer to a floured working surface and briefly knead with our hands, until we obtain an homogeneous, soft and pliable dough. 

When finished, we form a loaf, we wrap it with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (ideally overnight), before using it.

If you do not intend to use the dough straight away, or if using only part of it, keep in mind that it can be stored raw for 3-4 days in the fridge or for a month in the freezer, either way, tightly wrapped with cling film (if you store it in the freezer you ‘d better place it, wrapped as it is with the cling film, inside a freezer bag). If you choose to freeze it, then when it should be used, place it in the refrigerator the previous night to let it thaw slowly.